11/13/2016

Disappeared in Translation: Dear Mr. M [Review]


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28186095-dear-mr-m?from_search=true
Title: Dear Mr. M
Author: Herman Koch
Publisher: Hogarth
Published: Sept 2016 (orig. May 2014)
Genre(s): mystery, Dutch (translation), thriller, suspense
Synopsis* (via goodreads.com):  

Once a celebrated writer, M's greatest success came with a suspense novel based on a real-life disappearance. The book was called The Reckoning*, and it told the story of Jan Landzaat, a history teacher who went missing one winter after his brief affair with Laura, his stunning pupil. Jan was last seen at the holiday cottage where Laura was staying with her new boyfriend. Upon publication, M.'s novel was a bestseller, one that marked his international breakthrough.

That was years ago, and now M.'s career is almost over as he fades increasingly into obscurity. But not when it comes to his bizarre, seemingly timid neighbour who keeps a close eye on him. Why?

From various perspectives, Herman Koch tells the dark tale of a writer in decline, a teenage couple in love, a missing teacher, and a single book that entwines all of their fates. Thanks to
The Reckoning, supposedly a work of fiction, everyone seems to be linked forever, until something unexpected spins the "story" off its rails.  

With racing tension, sardonic wit, and a world-renowned sharp eye for human failings, Herman Koch once again spares nothing and no one in his gripping new novel, a barbed tour de force suspending readers in the mysterious literary gray space between fact and fiction, promising to keep them awake at night, and justly paranoid in the merciless morning.
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Socially Broken Hidden in Plain Sight?

In this review we're going to work backwards without spoilers

The conclusion of this mystery raised my esteem for this book from 3 to 4 stars. 

It's one of those books where you finish reading, you sit and think, and then want to immediately re-read the whole thing to make sense of the final revelation. 

11/12/2016

Goldfish Need to Re-read Books Before Continuing a Series (a.k.a. August Wrap-Up)

Hello Spinning Jenners!

This month I have been consistently reminded that:
1) My memory is sh*t
2) People with limited memories (i.e. Goldfish: Hey! A castle!... Hey! A castle!...) shouldn't wait a year before reading the next book in a series
3) GOLDFISH PEOPLE SHOULD NEVER START A SERIES THAT HASN'T BEEN COMPLETED/ PUBLISHED FOR CONSUMPTION BY THE GENERAL MASSES. [Apparently goldfish should tattoo this on their book-buying-hands-of-betrayal.] 

If you're new to this blog, I'm continuing on with a year-long reading challenge where we read books at least 1 year or older on our To-Be-Read [TBR] lists. Hosted by the lovely Bekka at Pretty Deadly Reviews
http://www.prettydeadlyblog.com/announcement-the-backlist-books-reading-challenge/

July Wrap-Up 2016: Monsters, Mystery & Mayhem!

http://www.prettydeadlyblog.com/backlist-books-challenge-check-in-july-2016/
Hey everybody!!
This month I have read some pretty epic reads, but consequently have had writer's block, as I want to do these books justice, but feel that their almighty epic-ness won't be given the respect and admiration that they truly deserve. Also,  I think that a pretty good book may have suffered by being surrounded by all the amazing-ness. So I'm just going to grab a book at random, give'r, and hopefully you will want to reach EACH ONE because they're all pretty awesome.   

Also, I will be entering almost all of these reads in my Backlist Books Reading Challenge, hosted by Bekka at Pretty Deadly Reviews.

[Just spit it out!!]

The Problem with The City of Mirrors (The Passage, #3): A Mathematical Review

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26891429-the-city-of-mirrors?from_search=true
Title: The City of Mirrors (The Passage #3)

Author: Justin Cronin

Publisher: Ballantine

Published: May 2016

Genre(s): horror, sci-fi, fantasy, apocalypse
Recommended for: masochists?

Synopsis (via goodreads.com):  
In The Passage and The Twelve, Justin Cronin brilliantly imagined the fall of civilization and humanity's desperate fight to survive. Now all is quiet on the horizon, but does silence promise the nightmare's end or the second coming of unspeakable darkness?


City of Mirrors? More Like, City of... Errors!

(It's the best rhyme I could drop...)

7/25/2016

Mini-Review: The Sound of Gravel


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25332115-the-sound-of-gravel
Title: The Sound of Gravel

Author: Ruth Wariner

Publisher: Flatiron

Published: January 2016

Genre(s): religion, memoir

Synopsis (via goodreads.com): 

A riveting, deeply-affecting true story of one girl's coming-of-age in a polygamist cult.

Ruth Wariner was the thirty-ninth of her father’s forty-two children. Growing up on a farm in rural Mexico, where authorities turned a blind eye to the practices of her community, Ruth lives in a ramshackle house without indoor plumbing or electricity. At church, preachers teach that God will punish the wicked by destroying the world and that women can only ascend to Heaven by entering into polygamous marriages and giving birth to as many children as possible. After Ruth's father--the man who had been the founding prophet of the colony--is brutally murdered by his brother in a bid for church power, her mother remarries, becoming the second wife of another faithful congregant...


Recounted from the innocent and hopeful perspective of a child, The Sound of Gravel is the remarkable true story of a girl fighting for peace and love. This is an intimate, gripping tale of triumph, courage, and resilience.  

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I don't know how to write a review of this book to give it the justice it deserves. I do have a goal to read more memoirs, and this one definitely raises the bar!